Being the Financial Director for AEGEE-Europe is not something that everybody wants, unfortunately. But the ones that do want are extremely motivated. We have Teresa Carene Kiambu from AEGEE-Udine as a candidate for this position, and below you can find her motivation for becoming the next Financial Director of AEGEE.
The AEGEEan: Teresa, can you describe yourself in five words?
Teresa: For who does not know me, my name is Teresa, but everybody calls me Terry. I am 25 years old and I come from Udine, a small city in the North-East of Italy, even if I have African origins. About myself I can say that I am ambitious, perfectionist, open minded, dynamic and a cheerful person. I love to make new experiences and to improve myself and the environment that is around me, so I hope that running for the Financial Director’s position will be for me a chance for adding something positive to AEGEE.
You started in your local as treasurer and then president. How do you think that this influenced you in deciding to run for Financial Director?
Since I was treasurer in my local, I dreamt to be Financial Director one day, because I really believe in the impact and in the power of AEGEE, but I didn’t have the possibility to run for it until now because I was focusing more on the local level and on the other responsibilities that I had. Being in the local board as Treasurer and then President and having to deal with many tasks, issues and experiences at local level, but also having the possibility to be part of the Audit Commission as SubCommissioner and of the Migration Interest Group at the European level, and seeing the good results I achieved with my mates at local and European level, despite some difficult moments; all these things, little by little increased my desire to become Financial Director. So, working in teams for so much time gave me the opportunity of experiencing teamwork, ripening the sense of responsibility, respecting deadlines.
You are the only candidate for the position of Financial Director. Why do you think is that?
I think that financial stuff has always been seen as something difficult and unintelligible within AEGEE and in the world. All things related to numbers, calculations, accounting have always been not appealing for people in general, and AEGEE as the mirror of the nowadays young Europe reflect this fact, the small appeal that finance has within people.
You have experience in the financial department, but mostly at local level and theoretical. How will the knowledge that you have help you manage some unknown situations at a higher level?
The theoretical knowledge I have about the financial subject is a strong foundation for the position I am running, as I will be engaged, in case I am elected, in accounting, budgeting, reporting. I have been studying economics for almost five years at University, and since I have started my master’s degree, I have been learning economics from the theoretical point of view but even from the practical point of view, as I attended some practical courses that gave me the opportunity to get in touch with some firms, analysing their balance sheets, budgets, reports and having to solve and give advice on some issues they had: in a few words, I can say I was engaged in consultancy manner and problem-solving processes, and this is a quite important part within AEGEE and the Comité Directeur, as AEGEE-Europe is comparable to a “firm”, where not every future situation is known in advance, but despite this, is faced. In fact, I know that not having been in the Comité Directeur before I will face some unknown situations, but it happened even at local level; this fact didn’t make me give up, rather made me understand that for achieving the best results you should fight and use the knowledge you have as a starting point. Let’s also not forget that I will be part of a team.
One of your direction in your programme is fundraising. How do you see fundraising as a candidate for Financial Director and for AEGEE-Europe?
To be Financial Director means to be the one who is engaged in the management and control of the economic flows, outflows and inflows. In fact the balance sheet, the budgets and the reports are documents that show people which was the performance of the entity they refer to. As I see the fundraising, it is a way of improving and increase the inflows, not only in monetary terms, but even in terms of having more opportunities for AEGEEans all over Europe, making some agreements and partnerships. In fact, AEGEE-Europe, meant as our European network, has the possibility to do all these things, as it is the biggest youth association and it is a huge network of young people spread in about 200 cities on our continent. Fundraising is also an instrument that can allow our network to do many other things and activities that we are not doing for now, or improve the ones that we have been doing for many years.
You are doing your master’s degree now, and next year by this time you will have to present your thesis, which is not something easy to do. In case you will get elected, how do you think that you will manage your duties as Financial Director and writing your thesis?
First of all, my idea is to write my thesis on my experience in AEGEE as Financial Director, in order to make a thesis that could be useful for some young people who are scared of starting the experience I have, to get them motivated and this can also be useful to make AEGEE well known. Secondly, we all know that being Financial Director, I won’t have so much free time but if I am running for this position now it is because I feel enthusiastic and ready for it. In fact I almost finished my exams, which were according to me the most important part of my master’s degree, so the thesis will not be a problem. If I don’t manage to write the thesis and being Financial Director at the same time, I will still have time to write my thesis after my experience in the Comité Directeur and finish my studies almost on time. It is worth to write my thesis not in the time I was thinking, but get the experience of being the one who can improve AEGEE and do something more for the association.
Tell us the most relevant aspects of your candidature and why should people vote for you.
My candidature is based on few important points as: continuing the job done by the previous Financial Directors, managing, AEGEE’s money and finance in the best way that I will be capable of, having a good budgeting and planning scheme at the beginning of my mandate, so that everything will be clear from the beginning and we could save money; doing good fundraising and arising the awareness about the importance and how to deal with financial matters within the locals. Using few words, I can say that, on the one hand, I want AEGEE to be known and supported by more and more entities, so that will try to guarantee to AEGEEans many other opportunities that we don’t have within the association, and on the other hand, I would like to make financial matters less difficult to understand among the treasurers within AEGEE.
As conclusion, I would like to say that I am ready for being the Financial Director of AEGEE-Europe and work with other people in the Comité Directeur House. I am motivated and enthusiastic for it and I really want to work for AEGEE, for its improvement and wellness. I have the background needed for the position I am running for and the motivation. I have been in AEGEE for three years before taking this decision and I think that now is the right time for doing something bigger for and with AEGEE, to arise our power and influence within Europe and the world. Don’t forget I am perfectionist, so I will invest myself to be as perfect a treasurer as I will manage to be.
You can read is full candidature here.
Written by Raluca Radu, AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca